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Investments, new industries, import substitution – the next stage of the Belarusian-Russian partnership

The growth of investments, creation of new industries and the development of production of demanded import-substitution products is the next stage of the Belarusian-Russian partnership

A year ago, influenced by external conditions, there was a need to build a new system of priorities in the economy of our country. One of the most promising areas, of course, is the expansion and strengthening of cooperation with the Russian Federation. The vectors of development of our states are similar in many ways, which poses almost identical priorities for both countries: ensuring the effective functioning of economies, searching for alternative markets and suppliers of products, developing own financial system and strengthening the authority of national currencies amid increasing volumes of international transactions and financing successful projects in Belarusian and Russian rubles.

Today we are witnessing positive trends in almost all the tasks set. Indeed, by the end of March, the foreign trade turnover exceeded the same indicator last year by 14.2 percent, exports — by 12.6 percent. This increase is mainly due to the increased interest in Belarusian investment and consumer goods in the Russian market, where there was a shortage of them as a number of foreign manufacturers had left the country.

Thanks to the implementation of the proposals of the Russian Federation to increase the interaction of national payment systems and increase the network of correspondent accounts of banks of the EAEU countries, it is planned that by the end of this year the demand for national currencies for the implementation of large transactions and projects in the territory of the participating states will grow at least five times compared to the pre-sanction period. The volume of trading in the Belarusian ruble on the Moscow Currency Exchange at the end of last year was 110 times higher than the previous indicator.

Serious steps are also being observed in the bank financing of large projects on the territory of the Union State, which will be carried out in the national currencies of our countries. On April 7, from the Group of Companies of the Russian Export Center under the guarantee of VEB.RF a credit line with a limit of RUB 3.25 billion was opened to implement the first stage of the JSC Grodno Azot Ammonia-4 workshop reconstruction. The loan period will be seven years, funding will be provided using subsidizing part of the interest rate at the expense of the Russian Federation budget . The planned workshop reconstruction will increase the production of ammonia and reduce the specific energy consumption in production. In addition, in the course of the VEB.RF Group Chairman Igor Shuvalov's recent visit, one more agreement has been reached. It regards the financing the leasing of 440 Russian-made railcars in the amount of about RUB 3 billion for JSC Grodno Azot. Their acquisition will allow the company to improve logistics, increase the geography of partner countries and, as a result, reduce costs and increase exports. In the future, it is planned that the financing of projects on the territory of Belarus by companies of the Russian state Development Corporation will be implemented both in Russian and Belarusian rubles.

We can therefore talk about successful joint solution of the priority tasks facing the economies of our countries after introducing external restrictions. The next stage will be the growth of investments, creation of new industries and the development of production of demanded import-substitution products. Reaching these goals on the terms of partnership with the Russian Federation should become a launching pad for the emergence of a new core of economic growth in Eurasia.